Friday, May 4, 2012

Halter Your Horses!

Leather halter - safest halter




Spring is everywhere, horses are out in beautiful pastures of green grass. It is a beautiful sight but sometimes, it makes me cringe. There are horses in these pastures and they have halters on. That screams danger to me. People who know and have been around horses know the  disastrous consequences of leaving a horse in a pasture with a halter on can be. Leaving a halter on a stall or round pen, or leaving a horse unattended with a halter on can cause the death of your beloved horse. 


Break away Halter - leather top




How? Have you ever seen a horse scratch his face with his hoof? It can easily get caught in the halter. It is even more common on young horses and babies. I see improperly fitted halters on these horses, too. They are an accident waiting to happen. Too many horses are injured or die from strangulation because their horse gets caught on a fence post, a tree limb or hooked on a loose nail. 


Regular nylon halter


Nylon and rope halters are the real culprits since they are designed not to break away. There are now figure 8 leather halters for foals which look like it would be harder to get a foot stuck in it. If you know young horses, you know they can find trouble. If you feel  you have to have a halter on your horse, then buy a break away halter. It has a leather piece on the top which is made to break under pressure. If you can afford it, buy a full leather halter. It can still cause a problem and not break like you would expect.




Rope Halters

I had a BLM wild Mustang in a round pen. She had a full leather halter so I assumed it was going to be safe.  She was scratching her neck against the panels and the halter caught onto the hook that holds the panels together. She panicked and pulled. The halter torn at the leather but left about a 1/2 inch of leather still attached. She pulled the round pen over herself. She was not a tame horse to begin with. She flailed on the ground kicking and trying to escape the panels over her. Lucky there were several people at the rescue farm that day. It took many of us to fix that situation. I took a knife and had to carefully cut that small piece of leather that didn't break. She was trembling, I was trembling, too. I didn't want to cut her face and didn't want her injured. Once we got all the panels off and adjusted, she seemed fine physically but I am sure that left some emotional scars on that poor horse.

My experience could have turned out much worse. If you go to a farm or see horses in a pasture with halters on, maybe you could drop a hint or leave a nice note saying it could be dangerous. You may offend someone but you may be saving a horses life. I am sure the owners don't want anything bad to happen to their horses but many just don't have the knowledge about horses to realize the danger. You do, so pass on your knowledge. Be the voice for the voiceless. Save the horses!




By the way, we have all these types of halters at the rescue farm. They all have a purpose and I use them all when I would with the horses. I am not anti-halter, I am anti-halter on an unattended horse. 


Thank you for your continued support. Together we all make the difference in horses lives. 
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4 comments:

BonnieM said...

Such good advice, I agree with what is said in the article!

LexiF said...

fantastic advice! I am buying another leather halter soon, I love them so much. Everyone wearing a nylon only sports it when they are being led or bath and to and from different paddocks. Not even the ones who wear full leathers have their halters left on.

jelly andrews said...

I really appreciate you’ve shared this useful information. This is really a big help in avoiding accidents like the one you’ve mentioned. Thanks a lot for sharing it.

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